Almost every morning, I sit on my front stoop with a cup of coffee and watch the sky while everything's still fresh and new. I will never take clouds for granted, especialy since they are always changing.
This morning, my mind returned to something I've wondered about for decades: in the universe--in clouds, for instance--does God set up the initial conditions and then let everything run its course?--or is God completely hands-on, for example, sculpting each cloud contour from the inside out and the outside in? A childish question, perhaps, but what the heck...
My answer thus far has always been that somehow both are true--at different times and on different levels. On one level, God continuously wills every atom and quark into being, otherwise, nothing at all could exist. On another level, there's the whole free will thing.
And I still believe that. But this morning, it occurred to me that God really, really loves freedom--really, really delights in allowing everything the space and freedom to be and to become. But because God is love, this freedom does not entail distance, remoteness or impersonality of any kind--not even a minute speck of it. Absolute freedom and absolute intimacy--even, eventually, union--not opposite ends of a continuum, but somehow, in Christ, the same thing?